IntroductionThe post-retirement period of any Indian male's life is one that can take any shape and also go on to play meaningful roles. It is not so difficult at all. Engaging oneself in constructive tasks would involve a) Having a clear plan of action three years before retirement b) Have Plan B and Plan C ready c) Keeping a good control over expenses d) Taking up a passionate hobby and e) Spending time to develop others.
Having a clear plan of action three years before retirement Having served as a Senior level HR executive with responsibilities spanning job rotation, performance appraisal, mentorship, training and the like, Mr. Sharma (name changed) took up a teaching position in a leading BSchool the in Mumbai with Organizational Behavior as his specialization. He also got opportunities to peruse empirical research and share his practical experience in the core HR positions. He was able to have a good deal of job satisfaction. The BSchool also paid him reasonably well. In his case, the transition was very easy as the BSchool was an active partner in conduction several Management Development Programmes for the Indian multinational engineering giant with which Mr. Sharma was associated for several decades.
The aforesaid example is what exactly plans are all about. For example, a Senior Manager who had retired from a Nationalized Bank, was so particular that he would be employee as a Manager with a private Nidhi company in Chennai. Nidhi companies are registered small finance companies that are also controlled by the RBI. A company can be declared as a Nidhi only after satisfying some conditions. This gentleman's son was an IT professional, married and settled in the US. His wife never worked but was a talented singer and an expert in conducting sloka classes. She had always been active and had discussed her plans and interests in spiritual work long before her husband retired. The Rs15,000/- per month salary was no big deal. The Manager had an idea of working for sixty months after his retirement. Today, there are many people in their gated community who share cooking responsibilities and also share food almost everyday. So, if there is a clear plan of action, engaging oneself in some meaningful activity would not be difficult.
Have Plan B and Plan C readyThis is one big step. Everything does not work to one's plan all the time. Life is full of glorious uncertainties. Mr. Guru(name changed) wanted to do social work in his native Madurai after retirement. He did start this and was very active. Things changed when his only son, a banker, was transferred to Jabalpur, within six months of his marriage. His wife was so particular in joining her husband. She did learn Hindi quite fast and found an Accountant job for herself in a trading company. However, she became pregnant thereafter within just eight months. Her mother became sick at her native place near Salem in Tamil Nadu.
Mr.Guru had to pack his bags and accompany his wife to Jabalpur. Life was not so difficult. Each one of the family members found new friends. Mr.Guru put on his thinking cap. Why not become an insurance advisor? He did become one with a private company and soon found himself making good business. His son's customers became his friends and through their contacts, Mr. Guru was able to get new customers. His wife continued with her classes in Carnatic music in Jabalpur. When Mr Guru had a grandson, life changes for the better. He enrolled for a Diploma course in Investment Management and found a new passion. Today, though the 24 months of bringing up the grandson had so many ups and downs, Mr. Guru's emphasis on updating himself and keeping himself engaged, with Plan B and Plan C has stood him in good stead. His son is likely to be transferred to a branch near Bangalore and Mr. Guru and his wife plan to return to Madurai to resume their roles. Mr. Guru is now a very active insurance advisor.
What it takes in life is the spirit to make a move on in any given situation. Answers to the question, what next? in any given situation will matter a big deal. Look around for experiences of different people and learn from them. Never ever attribute everything to fate and be or become idle. Doing so will simply ruin your life. Each of the aforesaid two true examples will help anyone understand the simple tips and what it takes to put them into practice. Yes, everything depends upon situations. However, wanting to plan and executing plans does involve the ability to put on the right thinking caps at the right times.
Keeping a tight control over expensesMany Senior citizens in Chennai spend just Rs 1000 as their monthly expenditure to move around, at least till the age of 75. How? Simple. They get one bus pass for Rs 1000 and this will enable him to move around in any bus at any time in whatever route. Since the bus services are too good, they do not spend a pie extra. One can make any number of trips. A few of them zip around in their mopeds. However, other petrol expenses are zero. I am given to understand that such monthly passes are available at other cities too. Similarly, many cut down on consumption of non-vegetarian food and eating out. Having a tight control on all expenses is a meaningful way of engaging oneself post-retirement.
Taking up a passionate hobbyAfter too many years of running around and hours of hypertension on any given day, the post-retirement period is one where anyone can engage himself in childhood passions as a hobby. What had started as a hobby has now grown into a six hour per day activity for two senior citizens near Tiruchirapalli, who have put up good terrace gardens in their independent houses. They have learned everything the hard way through local farmers. However, they have put everything to practice quickly. When I saw one roof garden, I was surprised at the variety of vegetables grown. Water is fortunately not an issue. But the spirit to make a move on was very much seen. One has to just look around for such inspiration.
Spending time to develop othersThere are many Senior citizens conducting free Tamil,Hindi and English classes for poor students. Even Mathematics is taught free to plus two students by retired Engineers. Life goes on and on if we get into such activities. In fact, we would not have time on our hands. Just look around and check the entire range of activities that can be taken up at any point in time.
ConclusionThe post-retirement period of men can be exiting if they think of simple ways of engaging themselves. I always look around for real world true examples. When we start thinking of possibilities, we can find ant number of them on any day and at any point in time of our lives.
It's indeed a good article. Your suggestions seem to be very clear and refers to city lives. How about villagers who do not get the facilities? They only depend on old aged pension and cut down one meal for survival after 60 years as the word retirement does not exist. They are illiterate people who still help their families with farming.
It is quite true that most of my interactions and observations are based on urban and metro city-centric. All the experiences are from the real world and are documented at various times. Yet, let me narrate something I actually saw in a village which is near my native village in Tanjore District of Tamil Nadu. This happened two years ago. I do not know what they are doing now.
The three people involved are actively running a small catering establishment from their own house of one of them. The man was 85 years old and his wife was 77 years old. He was assisted by his friend who was 82. This gentleman had lost his wife some years ago. They were active in serving regular customers. The house had plenty of banana trees. Everything is served only on banana leaves. The lady did the cooking all by herself. There was no distinction based on caste or creed or color or whatever. The customers chatted freely with all the three. Only breakfast was served. The rest of the time was spent in cultivating vegetables in their house garden. This could be at least 6000 square feet. The land and house were purchased decades ago. The three never looked their age. Tanjore district is like Kerala. The hotel itself was from their residence, not far away from the bus-stand. The used banana leaves were put into a big pit and made into agricultural manure. There was only one lady who assisted the three and it later transpired that she was fed all three times by this family. Hence, the bonding was excellent.
Of course, one experience does not make up for a generalization. But those who engage in such activities, particularly, agriculture, are always active and healthy. I was stumped to know that they still have the fermented cooked rice with organic curd and pickle, every day in the morning. This was given to me by my grandparents decades ago. Today, life has changed. There is one cell phone shop, two grocery shops, one barbershop, one cement stockist shop and another non-vegetarian eatery some one kilometer away from this vegetarian outlet. Hence, the men do find their own ways to be healthy. Note that all agricultural income is still not taxed. In the neighboring village, I found a co-operative bank that has also been around for decades. So, I could guess that most of the villagers would still have accounts with that branch.
This is not something that is specific to one village. All along the bus route, I was able to spot many such small restaurants. The slightly bigger villages had even textile shops. Of course, I do not go to such villages. My food still comes from urban areas. So, I just wanted to share one real-world experience.
Post-retirement life is to be managed in a planned way. The author has given some good ideas and tips for a fruitful retired age.
In the retired life, there are some challenges which are faced by most of the people. The first and foremost is the challenge of occupying oneself. Those who have developed some hobbies in their lives are the luckier lot as they can pursue their old hobbies as now they are having ample time to pursue them. Others who have not developed some hobbies can start afresh and learn some indoor games, make friends with like-minded people, go to the temple and chant the songs etc. So, it is never too late if a person wants to start a new hobby or wants to learn a new skill. Age is no barrier for that. Reading is a great hobby and many people spend their time in that. I would recommend it as a number one pass time in the old age.
Another interesting thing for those who have already read much in their lives, it is time to try their hand in writing. Have you ever thought that you can also write something. It is possible. A little practice and taming the language in which one wants to write can make it happen. Writing is a great hobby. One can try one's hands in it.
Another thing is to occupy oneself in measures for good health keeping. Yoga, light exercising, walks etc are very useful in old age and keep us fit.
A good article with some nice advice for a retired person thinking about his future plan of action. A retired person should think about the area in which he is strong. He can see whether he can do some activity in that line which will keep him busy and also may give some income for his expenses. A person who has a desire and experience in teaching can think of taking one or two classes in a private college nearby. That will keep him busy and also give him some income. If not going to a college, he can start teaching at the house to some students nearby and even think of online tuitions. Like this one can try some engagements in the line of their interest.
Some may have enough money but they should also have some activity. Such people can think of social service. There are many old age groups in every area these days and they spend a good time in greenery development and Cleanliness. Many other activities will be there.
There are many online activities which may not fetch you much money but they may keep you busy for a long time. Those activities can also be thought of.
Normally retirement age is considered as the resting time for the elders but the author has suggested some ideas and tips which could make the seniors get going. Their past experience would be useful for some and they can act as the consultant or the adviser and earn some money. They can be self-reliant and need not depend for money from the children. It is better to start earning this way through advisory service and consultancy, especially if they are not getting a pension, and that would also keep them busy than expected.
The post-retirement period is always considered as reclining to the easy chair and any venture to earn more would be criticized by the households. I know some persons who worked with the government in big positions are being called for consultations and suggestions. They are being paid some amount for visiting and giving advice. But this won't happen to everyone. Again, being senior by experience, the private jobs cannot be fetching and with low salaries, they try to squeeze the senior citizens and thus many would not be able to adjust to such jobs after retirement.
My observations on the life of retired pensioners in rural areas are valid even today. However, the increasing rate of urbanization in the States of Tamil Nadu and Kerala has seen the inevitable happening.
Take, for example, the mushrooming of small eateries on the lovely Arakkonam to Perambakkam to Chennai road. This is simply shocking. There are just too many and all of them are making money. Furthermore, there are a large number of traders who simply pluck the fresh vegetables from their farms just across the road and give the customers the freshest vegetables. Of course, those educated, travel to Chennai for work and are home in their native places at night. Hence, the rural people have the best of both worlds and it is common to see even 70 year old people working as part-time LIC agents or real estate brokers, cooks and so on.
At the base of all these healthy developments is the fact that the number of skilled and educated manpower is among the highest in India. Sriperambadur is a big hub for assembly units and even the housewives are employed here. So, I guess, the hundreds of villages near big metro cities like Chennai will find the retired people doing some good work or the other in their lives.